REVIEW: Success (The Basement)

July 31, 2015
High Achiever [by Tim George] It is hard to write a dramatic story involving stand-up comedians, mainly because it requires good jokes. Everyone remembers Punchline, the Tom Hanks movie about the gritty backstage world of standup, right? No, of course not. If you’re going to write a story about comedians, it has to be funny. As with that old story about […]

REVIEW: The Deliberate Disappearance of my Friend, Jack Hartnett (Bullet Heart Club)

July 26, 2015
Why should we care about Jack? [by James Wenley] Did you see Daffodils? Wasn’t it great? For Metro Magazine I named it best debut for the 2014 best in theatre wrap-up. Rochelle Bright and her Bullet Heart Club collaborators have acknowledged their sophomore work, The Deliberate Disappearance of my Friend, Jack Hartnett is like a much anticipated second album. The difficult […]

REVIEW: The Next Big Thing Festival 2015 (Auckland Theatre Company)

July 22, 2015
Inky, Pinky, Go! [by James Wenley] The girl on the program cover is all wrong. With her exuberant expression and red sparkly jelly party hat, it suggests kids playing dress ups. Next Big Thing is anything but. Maybe it works as an image for their adult subscribers:  come and see what those kooky kids are up to. But as an image […]

REVIEW: The Mourning After (Prayas Theatre)

July 2, 2015
Needed Mour [by Matt Baker] New Zealand’s first full-length Sri Lankan play. A sell-out season before opening night. It’s an exciting premise to the beginning of a new branch of New Zealand-Asian theatre. Upon entering The Basement, the audience is greeted with Karnan Saba’s soundscape, both captivating and subtle, with all the originality and instant identity of a John Williams’ score, […]

REVIEW: Orangutan (The Basement)

July 2, 2015
Not yet a Great Ape [by Matt Baker] In a black box conversion of The Basement studio, creator and performer Alice Canton sits and waits on a pile of dirt and bark. The elevated and shallow seating block doesn’t seem to manage The Basement studio 65-seat capacity, leaving audience members sitting on the floor, which I imagine results in false sightlines […]